FARA’s Annual Customer Conference
We have reserved the revered and re-refurbished Hotel Britannia as the venue for this year’s customer conference. In addition to an agenda packed with news, professional updates, juicy discussions, and socializing with existing and new customers, we have also arranged a guided tour in Trondheim. We will be riding a Metrobus and will see the infrastructure at stops, including real-time display, platform validator and ticket vending machines – all provided by FARA. We ask that you set aside September 10 and 11 for this event in Trondheim.
We are going to deliver a smartphone app with a new sales solution to four counties in southern Sweden. With this project, FARA makes a “State of the art” mobile app, combining travel planning, real-time information, booking and ticket sales in one and the same app. The app will be offered as “native app” for both IOS and Android. The back-end system serving the apps follows the latest and greatest of principles related to the architecture and container-based production environment.
The system relies on using third-party systems for all of the aforementioned functionality areas. The architecture of the back-end system should make it very easy to plug in third-party systems from any vendors. Much of the functionality is already in place and Swedish travelers will enjoy the app from the second half of 2019. We are eager to present it to the market when finalized.
“After seeing the sprint results, I can ensure you that this will be the best travel app ever”, says CEO Ørjan Kirkefjord.
The cloud solution that constitutes the system for our Webshop and our mobile applications is a so-called multi-tenant solution, where all customers are served from the same instance/system. During the 2018 we have modernized the infrastructure of this cloud solution, so that solution’s micro-services can run in a so-called container solution, where we use Kubernetes.
Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating the distribution, scaling and management of applications in containers. Kubernetes is based on 15 years of experience from Google’s production systems, coupled with best-practices from a variety of companies and state-of-the-art systems.
We expect that the migration of today’s production systems to this new infrastructure will take place during the second half of 2019, and we expect that safer and more seamless deployment of new versions and higher operational stability will be the result for you as customers.
FLV+ EMV Level 2 Certification
We have existing EMV solutions today and when we developed the new FLV+ validator, we already had plans for an upgrade to enable “pay as you go” credit card reading. The option for contactless Mastercard and VISA payment on the FLV+ is expected to be available for customers in Q3-2019.
ITxPT Onboard the Vehicle
FARA has delivered solutions for ticketing, passenger information, infotainment and real-time information on board busses, trains and boats for a number of years. We have delivered our solutions to a huge range of vehicle computers and platforms during this time, and we have had a good, modular platform and architecture, which has allowed us to deliver customized systems based on standard products. Over the past year, we have been working to implement ITxPT support in our proven vehicle solutions, so that these days we can proudly say that we are in full swing rolling out Norway’s first vehicle systems with ITxPT support. This is happening now at AtB in Trondheim and at Unibuss (Ruter) in Oslo. These solutions are supplied on an Android platform, but we also offer similar solutions on Linux.
Replacement for BP50
Our work to offer the Samsung Galaxy Active Tab 2 as replacement for the BP-50 as a portable ticketing device is now approaching completion.
In May we will be testing in the production environment together with two of our customers. We hope that this testing goes well, and that we can offer a robust unit with good battery capacity both for portable ticketing and for our new product POS Light.
UITP Summit 9-12 June
FARA is a proud partner of the UITP Global Public Transport Summit 2019, on 9-12 June in Stockholm. Meet us at stand B1030. As a partner we are able to invite customers and guests to the trade fair. Registering through FARA includes free entrance to the exhibition (not the conference though).
If this is of interest, then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you there!
3G Network Shutdown (Norway)
During 2019 the 3G 900 net will be shut down, and in 2020 the 3G 2100 net will also be shut down. This means that smaller towns/areas lose coverage in 2019, and the cities will lose theirs in 2020. FARA offers a 4G router solution to ensure that older equipment can still be used.
There are some customers who are still operating with 10-12 year old equipment, and we would recommend buying the new T2, which is a solution for the future with respect to existing and future solutions onboard the vehicle.
Ticket Vending Machine – Metrobus
When AtB opens new bus routes in Trondheim in August three of the routes will be equipped with 24 meter Metrobuses. FARA has already entered into an agreement to supply ticket validation, based on FARA’s FLV+ (plattformvalidator), to the 100-150 new stops along these bus lines.
In competition with a total of four providers, FARA has won an additional contract with AtB to deliver ticket vending machines to 30 of the bus stops, to ensure quick and easy purchase of individual tickets in remote areas. The ticket vending machines will be delivered in cooperation with Mera in Poland. The delivery includes the FARA’s back end system, as well as service and maintenance during the contract period. Most of the vending machines should be installed by August.
As a result of this work, FARA has a competitive option for platform validator and ticket vending machines at bus stops and onboard vehicles and ferries/boats.
In the last couple years FARA has established passenger counting as a new product in our portfolio. In 2019 AtB and Unibuss will be our next two customers using this function. FARA’s passenger counting solution supports typical user scenarios covering travel and ticketing statistics, as well as security related to keeping track of the exact number of passengers on board a vehicle or boat.
Traffic Light Priority
For a number of years FARA has supplied our customers with both software and hardware for traffic light prioritization. Helsinki, Oulu, Lillehammer, Sarpsborg and Tønsberg are examples of cities that have increased the efficiency of their traffic thanks to our proven products. In the course of this year, FARA’s solution will also be in use in Oslo and Trondheim. Our solution is highly flexible and can be based either on integration with existing systems or based entirely on software and hardware provided by FARA.
Centralized Traffic Data (Sweden)
On May 13 FARA meets Samtrafiken and the Open Traffic project team to discuss Open data, standards and the new EU transport regulation.
During the work on the “Joint forces for Open Traffic Data” project, the Swedish Transport Agency and the transport industry have recommended Samtrafiken as a national gathering place for traffic data in Sweden. For this reason, Samtrafiken will continue to develop today’s Trafiklab in accordance with the regulation that is now adopted.
The EU’s new traffic data regulation enters into force 2019-12-01 and specifies how member states ensure the availability, exchange, reuse and updating of travel and traffic data. The effect of the project is therefore that the requirements of the regulation are met, and the requirements can be briefly summed up as follows:
- The regulation shall be incorporated into national law. The EU Member States have until 1 December 2019 to implement the necessary measures to adopt the legislation.
- A national collection point for traffic data shall be provided. In this context, the relevant authorities and operators shall also provide metadata that describes the content and allows for good access to data.
Work on this is already underway in Norway. FARA has several of the defined standards in place, as well as working on implementation of new standards. The meeting on 13 May will be an exchange of experience from the Norwegian model and will define FARA’s plan for the Swedish market.